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Mediclinic News : 49 doctors without work in NHI pilot programme

Title

49 doctors without work in NHI pilot programme

Date

2018-05-30

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News Description

DAILY DISPATCH Forty-nine unemployed doctors are said to be feeling let down by the provincial department of health, saying they have not worked for two months in the national health insurance NHI pilot programme. The pilot programme, to be run in the health department's OR Tambo municipality, was announced with fanfare in 2016 in Mthatha. Some of the doctors, who spoke to the Dispatch on condition of anonymity, said their contracts were ended abruptly at the end of March. They said 49 doctors were affected, and most were at home unemployed in Mthatha, Mbashe, Qunu and Mqhekezweni. Initially, the doctors claim, they were being paid by an outsourced human resources company and the department's contract ended with the company, leaving the doctors in the lurch We were made to understand that we would be able to work because the department would handle the payments. "Then out of the blue the department told us last week that they would not be able to pay us because they cannot deal with the paperwork. "This is very hard for us because some of us were depending on these jobs. "We worked fulltime in these clinics and were not doing sessional work, meaning that we now do not have an income," he said. More than 50 clinics and healthcare centres in the OR Tambo region do not have doctors. "Now we are just waiting for the banks to repossess our cars because we have not been able to pay [creditors] and our debit orders are bouncing," he said. Provincial health spokesman Sizwe Kupelo said: "The function [of paying the doctors] has been given to the province, and our system is to absorb them either on a permanent basis or for sessions. "To achieve this, recruitment processes have to be followed. Unfortunately those already doing sessions with us cannot be considered because they are already in the system." Kupelo said the unemployed doctors would be interviewed and appointed permanently, and the private doctors will be offered sessions. "The district office held a meeting with the affected doctors and explained the process. The department is now awaiting submission of their CVs, qualifications and appropriate registrations in order to speed up the process," Kupelo said. South African Medical Association provincial chairperson Dr Mzu Nodikida said: "The department says the doctors can be absorbed into other institutions but it is not clear when. "This is concerning because, by now, the department should know how to deal with service providers. "What is even more concerning is that the patients that were being cared for by the doctors are now sitting at home has been left in the lurch because services were halted abruptly."
Created at 2018/06/05 04:46 PM by Mediclinic
Last modified at 2018/06/05 04:46 PM by Mediclinic